Gluba, Gleebin, Gloutin, Globin.  I got somethin' to say.  It's better to burn out, than fade away.

Preseason Primate


          You’re only a few weeks away from that dude (not the dude because he abides) in your league who quotes last year’s stats.  He’s the one who’s consistently sucking hind teet.  He’s the fantasy league primate, and of course we aren’t referring to the sub-family of hominidae, the great apes.  We’re talking about primates more along the lines of hylobatidae, the lesser apes.  He’s the league philanthropist and he still, after all these years, can’t figure out why oh why the Stupor Bowl has eluded team Turn Down for Watt. 

          He’s a lesser ape because of the theory of recency (or maybe evolution), although neither are really theories.  According to recency theory, people will associate more importance to more recent trends or events or thoughts.  So what happened in 2014 is more likely (than say what happened in 2013) to be what happens in 2015.  It’s true that people think that way.  But we here at Matriculator Headquarters, located in a secret bunker under Fort Jefferson,[1] realize that the past is history, the present is for Buddhists and the future is what wins fantasy championships.  So let’s debunk some theories and spin a little Nostradumbass.

          Someone running behind the Cowboys massive O-line has to receive a hefty percentage of Demarco Murray’s yards and career criminal Joseph Randle is the most likely suspect.  We already know Randle has more underwear than Murray, and it’s quite possible that Randle will have more yards this year than Murray too.  Murray’s carries should decrease (with Ryan Mathews in Philly and a new offense) and the likelihood of injury increases significantly after the 400+ touches Murray had last year.  We’d still draft Murray ahead of Randle, but don’t go recency on either of them.

          Dez Bryant got paid.  He’s always been a nutter, and now he’s a nutter with a pile of money.  He might be able to play pretend like he’s done the last few years, but then again he might not.  A little caveat emptor is a good strategy.  As for Dez’s wingman Tony Romo, the guy is 35 with two back surgeries to his credit and he’s coming off a career year.  Don’t expect another one.

          Peyton Manning’s a great gal.  If we were producing a Bride of Frankenstein movie, she’d be our first choice.  We wouldn’t even need to make up her forehead, just stick a bolt in her neck and put a wig on her.   But we’re not producing that film so we’d shy away from her, at least in the first few rounds.  Gary Kubiak has traditionally focused on the run and Manning’s arm was dead at the end of last season.  Look for them to pull back on the reins and in spite of Manning’s propensity for meaningless glory hogging, don’t expect much better than about 30 TDs and 4,500 yards.  Nice fantasy numbers, but not worthy of a top 25 pick.

          Jimmy Graham is coming off what was perceived as a down year, while Rob Gronkowski was lauded for a great year.  In spite of the perception, Gronk only averaged one more fantasy point per game.  Don’t sleep on Graham and don’t forget all those games Gronk has missed.

          Rookies have begun to produce at the wide receiver position in recent years and there are always a few rookie running backs who turn in solid years.  Don’t overdraft them, but after the 5th round start looking at the Ameer Abdullahs and Duke Johnsons and Tevin Colemans of the world.   TJ Yeldon and Melvin Gordon should lead their team in carries and something in the 1,200 YFS/8 TD neighborhood is reasonable if that happens.  Two of the highly drafted rookie receivers are already injured, so look to Amari Cooper if your jonesing for a rookie, WR2 type.  Though he’s not technically a rookie, keep an eye on Terrelle Pryor during the pre-season.  It will probably take him a month to get comfortable making the transition from tosser to receiver (assuming he makes it at all), but he has a Terrell Owens skill set.  Though we traditionally pan USC wide receivers, and rightfully so, Nelson Agholor might be the exception.  If he wins the starting job out of camp he could post a flex player like 800-900/7-9 line.

          Everybody loves hatin’ on Mike Wallace.  He’s a bust, bye George!  Keep in mind his strength is the deep route and Ryan Tannehill may be the worst downfield passer in the NFL.  Teddy Bridgewater can spin the deep ball.  Last year in spite of all of the criticism Wallace finished in the top 20 in fantasy points among receivers making him a solid WR2, and we expect an improvement this year. 

          Victor Cruz and Adrian Peterson are returning to the field in 2015.  While 2014 was forgettable for both players, 2015 should see a return to form.  All Day scored double figures in touchdowns all seven years of his career before 2014, and he has never been below 1,100 yards from scrimmage.  In the three years before 2014, Cruz posted 998, 1092 and 1536 yards receiving.  Plus, he’s the only Mexican to ever score in the Super Bowl.   Cruz’s running mate Odell Beckham is a once in a lifetime talent, but don’t get carried away and draft him in the top 10  5 2, with the number one pick. 

          The theory of primacy says Doug Martin (1926 yards and 12 TDs as a rookie) is a top 5 pick.  The theory of recency says Martin (558 yards and 2 TDs in 2014) is a late rounder.  We’re experiencing some cognitive dissonance, but our primate computer says 3rd round. 

          Running backs are very tactile.  They’re all about those touches and that bass, and that bass, no treble. Devonta Freeman, Jonathan Stewart and Latavius Murray are in line for a big increase in touchy feely.  Also, keep an eye on Todd Gurley.  If he looks healthy watch out, but if he’s going to miss a big chunk of the season Tre Mason could post some nice numbers.

          Geno Smith has been a whole heaping of awful in his first two years and the Jets have another defensive minded head coach in Todd Bowles.  Sleep with one eye open on Geno though. He’s got Brandon Marshall, Eric Decker and Jeremy Kerley at receiver.  He could be a serviceable QB2.  Hey, anything’s possible.

          While fantasy owners need not concern themselves with Tom Brady and Bill Belicheat’s quest for their first legitimate title, they need to concern themselves with Cameron Wake, Kong Suh, Muhammed Wilkerson, Leonard Williams, Kyle Williams, Mario Williams and even Maisie Williams who is deadly with the needle.  Whether Brady is suspended or not, he’s going to have some Bad Mother%&*#ers looking to deflate his manicured balls.  Sorry, we promise no more deflating jokes for at least a day or so.

          In the tweety day and age we live in everyone likes the one liners, so here are a few tidbits.  Sammy Watkins drops a lot of passes.  Jarvis Landry doesn't. We told you Michael Floyd was overrated!  841 yards and 6 TDs later we have some believers.  RG3 has a career passer rating of 90.6, better than Dan Marino, Brett Favre and Andrew Luck and good enough for 12th in NFL history.  Eli Manning will be throwing to Victor Cruz, Odell Beckham, Reuben Randle and James Jones in 2015.  Even with his binky Brandon Marshall in 2014, Jay Cutler was bad...and Marshall has skipped town.

          God bless Sam Bradford, the Jon Koncak of the NFL.  Nobody has done less for more money than that guy. The Rams paid Bradford’s rookie contract, shame on him, but when they signed him to an extension, shame on them. Now Crazy Chip wants to extend him in Philly where he has won all of zero games. Throwcahontas seems to have that effect on everyone.  One owner in our fantasy league is always pontificating about Sam I Am like he’s the second coming.

          I actually met Bradford this summer. I was having drinks with my girlfriend Khaleesi at the Crazy Horse Saloon.  We were in this deep conversation about existentialism with Jadaveon Clowney’s father Chili Bean Morgan when Bradford walks up, orders a Cuba Libre and puts his cigarette out in my ashtray.

Me:  And you must be Bradford.  Look darling, it’s Sam Bradford.  The best quarterback since Y.A. Title, they say.  What do you think darling, should I hate him?

Khaleesi:  You don’t even know him.

Me:  Yes, but there’s just something about him.  Something around the eyes, I don’t know, reminds me of…me.  No.  I’m sure of it, I hate him.   

What happened next is a bit fuzzy.  We know Throwcahontas shot an arrow at Chili Bean.  He missed of course.  Chili Bean returned fire and then all hell broke loose and now Chili Bean's in jail. 

          During this year’s fantasy draft your league primate will undoubtedly start jabbering about Bradford and the Eagles up tempo offense and 5,000 passing yards.  When he does, say eventus stultorum magister.  Then walk away.  


In Vino Veritas




[1] Formerly secret